COVID-19 update: Re-opening and Space Hire Statement


Update: Thursday 16th July 2020

COVID-19 update: Re-opening and Space Hire Statement

We are relieved and delighted to be able to announce the full re-opening of Chisenhale Dance Space’s studios from Tuesday 1st September 2020 and that we are now taking reservations and bookings.

As for all of us, it’s been a tough few months for Chisenhale Dance Space. For the continued financial survival of the organisation, we are thankful for significant grants awarded from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund and The Backstage Trust, support through the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund and the Creative Land Trust, as well as The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and individual donations from Members and supporters.

Like so many others, we have also utilised the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, but we expect not to see any of the £1.57 Billion that’s recently been announced. With our sector in turmoil, unfortunately, re-opening does not mean that we’ve ‘made it’ and this is likely to be just the beginning of an ongoing struggle for the survival and the recognition of the independent sector – both artists and organisations. We stand in solidarity with all those in our sector, wider industry and community who are impacted by the ongoing crisis, especially those who fall through the gaps of Government support.

What and how will CDS be operating?

At the heart of Chisenhale Dance and our business model is our Space: two studios for experimenting and making. For the next few months, public programmes will be minimal while we focus on continued survival, adaptation and the safe operation of the studios. There will be future announcements over the coming months.

What are CDS doing to ensure that everyone stays safe in our Space?

At Chisenhale Dance Space, it is paramount that we ensure the health and safety of our staff, Members, hirers and visitors as we assess how to reopen the building and avoid the spread of COVID-19. We will be taking the following precautions:

  • Implementing an enhanced cleaning regime including daily professional deep cleans of the building, especially focusing on frequently touched surfaces.
  • Moving to a low-contact operational model, including key-code entry for hirers.
  • Hand sanitising stations are available as you enter the building and outside each studio.
  • Clear signposting throughout the building including floor markings, traffic flow systems and COVID-19 safety information to encourage social distancing.
  • Strict capacities in each studio and across the building to allow for staff and visitors to move safely and observe social distancing guidance. We require all access to the building to be arranged and booked in advance.
  • Each hirer will receive building guidance on social distancing and hygiene prior to arrival.
  • We expect for all hirers to work with care and consent with their collaborators, practice safely and to comply with the policies and guidance provided by Chisenhale Dance Space.

A COVID-19 risk assessment has been created following current government and Public Health England guidance and with workforce consultation. The assessment is subject to change and will be updated as further guidance is released. This assessment is available on request.

We thank you for your patience and support as Chisenhale Dance Space begins to operate within these new parameters. We are gradually returning to building operations, allowing time to respond to feedback and will continue to learn, adapt and review our operations as we move forward.

Space Hire

Chisenhale Dance Space is now accepting bookings for hires starting Tuesday 1st September 2020. Despite increased operational costs, to support the sector, we are freezing our prices and are now taking reservations for block bookings ahead of funding confirmation.

We will be introducing limited time slots to enable cleaning between each booking and allow us to monitor the building’s maximum capacity. There will be staggered access times for hirers to enter the building safely. Unfortunately, we will not be able to operate by-the-hour studio hire for the currently foreseeable future. Please find the daily space hire time slots available below:

Performance Studio:

  • 9am – 1pm
  • 2pm – 6pm 
  • Or 9am – 6pm (a full day hire)

To accommodate social distancing the maximum capacity for the Performance Studio is 10 people.

Research Studio:

  • 9.15am – 1.15pm
  • 2.15pm – 6.15pm
  • Or 9.15am – 6.15pm (a full day hire)

To accommodate social distancing the maximum capacity for the Research Studio is 4 people.

Bookings outside of these times may be possible by arrangement.

How to book studio space?

We are temporarily suspending the online booking system and asking all hirers to send their requests via email to CDS would also like to encourage artists, companies and producers to pencil future studio hires, whilst awaiting funding.

If you wish to book studio space outside of these time slots, please send a request to

If you are interested in using the studios in August, please email This may be available on a case-by-case basis, while we adapt our operations, dependent on staffing.

How can I support Chisenhale Dance Space?

  • As you’re planning new projects, and as Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants re-open for applications, please hire your studio space at CDS.
  • Donate! We are soon to be launching a crowdfunding campaign, asking for donations to support artists who have been hit hardest by the impact of COVID-19 on our sector to use our space for the artistic practice – 50% of donations as bursaries to artists and 50% to CDS for pay for the studio space.

To keep up to date with Chisenhale Dance Space news, please subscribe to our mailing list here.

Further updates will also be posted on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

When we all get through this, we’re going to need to dance together more than ever, and we’ll be here for you.